tv The Lead With Jake Tapper CNN December 6, 2013 1:00pm-2:01pm PST
the plane actually tried landing twice before diverting to another airport. how about that. well, that is it for me. i'm brooke baldwin. thank you for watching me on this friday. back on monday, we will see you then. in the meantime, "the lead" with jake tapper starts right now. who touched the thermostat? the nation's thrifty dads cry out as cold grips the u.s. i'm jake tapper. this is "the lead." the national lead, below zero temperatures, great. a potentially catastrophic ice storm? wonderful. this is the perfect weekend to stay inside, assuming you'll still have electricity. the money lead. the closing bell rang just seconds ago on wall street as a new jobs report exceeded expectations, has the economy finally, finally taken off? and the world lead. former president jimmy carter joins us to eulogize nelson mandela, the south african freedom fighter has been canonized for his accomplishments. did you realize the u.s. had him
on a terrorist watch list until 2008? good afternoon. welcome to "the lead." we begin with the national lead. it's like most of the country is living inside a flu medicine commercial right now. brutally cold weather has descended upon most of the nation, bringing a deadly ice storm sweeping from texas to new york. nearly 2,000 flights have been canceled, many of them going to or from the dallas-ft. worth airport. it's colder in dallas right now than it is in anchorage, alaska. authorities fear that no amount of shoveling or salting will make the streets safe enough for the dallas marathon or holiday parades so officials decided to cancel both of those events this weekend. at least four deaths are blamed on this massive storm. two of them in oklahoma, where the roads are like skating rinks, highway patrol officers there have responded to more than 100 weather related crashes just since yesterday morning. there are fears that this ice storm could be catastrophic in arkansas and tennessee. ice is coating memphis, where
road crews have 4,000 tons of sand ready to go. about 5,000 people have lost power there but that's just a fraction. many of you could end up wearing a parka inside your own home to stay warm. we have our team standing by. ted rowlands in memphis, ed lavendera in dallas where it was almost 80 degrees two days ago, and meteorologist jennifer gray in the cnn severe weather center. ted, we start with you. how bad is it in memphis right now? >> reporter: well, we are getting that mix of rain, sleet and snow, ice basically, and you mentioned, it is coating everything here in memphis. things are worse in arkansas, where we were earlier today. we drove about 40 miles from where we are in memphis into arkansas, and they have been getting hammered throughout the day. it was rough going on the highways. people taking it very slow. we saw people that had skidded out on the side of the road and we saw the power lines situation, people have lost power there, 5,000 you mentioned in memphis, more in arkansas.
ice is coating everything there. it is a nasty storm and they believe it's going to get worse before it gets better. before it came, of course, to memphis, it hammered much of texas. ed is in dallas tonight and picks it up from here. >> reporter: well, here in the dallas north texas area, the rain and freezing rain and sleet has stopped falling but that does not mean we are in the clear by any means. roadways and highways are still an absolute mess. i spent a great deal of the day driving along those roads today, very slushy. the department of public safety here in texas tells us that interstate 35 on the bridge between texas and oklahoma, that that bridge has been closed down, impassable, and there's a two and a half mile backup along the interstate on the texas side, so that's the situation we're monitoring at this point. because of all this major events into the weekend have been canceled, as jake mentioned. the marathon which was supposed to be run on sunday has been
canceled. a big holiday parade in downtown dallas for saturday has been canceled. so we're really feeling the effects of this. 80% of the flights from dallas-ft. worth international airport have been canceled over the next day or so, so this is really a treacherous situation and the problem now here is that temperatures won't get above freezing for several days, and there might be another wave of rain or freezing rain that comes our direction, so it will be a much more complicated weekend. for more information on that, i'll send it over to jennifer in the cnn severe weather center. >> thanks so much. this is a long way from being over. we still have snow falling, we have freezing rain, we have sleet, and then another wave is going to come later in the weekend. right now we're still seeing snow in st. louis. we have ice and freezing rain across the ohio valley, so an additional half inch is possible in some of these areas where we have already seen up to three inches of ice and sleet. we have quite the contrast in temperatures. we have a very balmy southeast,
it is 79 degrees in new orleans right now. compare that to ten degrees below zero in great falls. there is almost a 100 degree difference in temperature across the country. so we are going to continue to see this system lift out, things will drastically improve into tomorrow. should have a break on saturday, then the next system already on its heels. this is going to push across the country and affect most of the east as we go through sunday into tuesday, so places like dallas may not see temperatures above freezing until at least monday or tuesday. jake? >> my stars. jennifer, ted, ed, thank you so much. stay warm. turning now to the money lead, where we have some better news for you. unemployment is at the lowest level of five years, dropping from 7.3% to 7% in november. the u.s. economy exceeded expectations by adding more than 200,000 jobs. the stock market responded by
having its best day all week by far. i want to bring in zain asher at the new york stock exchange, where the closing bell rang moments ago. zain, the market had not been having a good week until today. >> yeah, not at all. quite the turnaround indeed. those job numbers did come in as a surprise but even more surprising i think was the market reaction. we are finally starting to see a situation where good news does actually mean good news. the u.s. economy is getting stronger and traders want in on that. i have been downstairs talking to traders all day. here's what they're telling me. they are telling me they finally accepted the fact that tapering is inevitable, they know it will happen, but don't expect it will happen for a good few months. here's why. yes, we got a strong jobs report. however, consumer spending is still problematic. they don't expect fourth quarter gdp to be particularly strong and they don't expect tapering to really begin until budget negotiations are firmly in the rear view mirror. they want to see certainty on capitol hill, of course.
but also, they want to see consistency. you know, it's fine if you have one or two months of 200,000 job gains but you want to see consistency. i think the main focus for everyone downstairs was the unemployment rate. that coming as low as 7%, the fed has said they want to see it at 6.5%. it's going to be interesting to see whether the rally continues or whether we will start to see profit taking in the next couple weeks. >> zain asher, thank you so much. while jobs are coming back, they're not necessarily the high paying ones. almost one million of the jobs created this year are in sectors such as retail, hospitality, temp work. so the big question, is our economy on its way back or are we creating a new reality of low wages for more and more americans. i want to bring in jim tankersley, economic policy correspondent for the "the washington post." if people don't recognize you, the last time you were here, you did not have this beard that your child has suggested you get. >> it was -- look, it was an important thing that started with halloween and just kept going. >> it's the holiday season. and you live to give. i appreciate that.
so more than 200,000 jobs added, dropping unemployment rate, but the jobs are not the highest paying ones. what are we to make of this? >> right now, what we're to make of it is we still have a fairly loose labor market. there is still high unemployment. it's coming down but right now there's not a lot of pressure in the economy with a lot of people -- there's not more jobs than people for it, and when you have that, once you get to a point where the unemployment rates come down, then you'll have incomes going up and the jobs will start to pay better. but right now, so long as there's still 11 million people looking for work, not being able to find it, we are going to have no pressure upwards on wages. >> are the middle class jobs that this country has lost, are they ever coming back? >> that's a great question. we went through the last decade, we were promised by the forecasts, 15 million jobs that never appeared, and those were supposed to be good paying jobs that didn't come. so now, we have to wonder with
this recovery not producing a lot of great good-paying jobs, the manufacturing jobs, for example, that the administration has been promising, are back but not nearly to the degree they have promised. so we have to ask will we get to a point any time soon where we see good paying family wage jobs be the norm, not the exception. >> i don't want to be too negative about this because obviously if you're unemployed, if you have a lower wage paying job that's better than nothing. and you are able to afford rent. but you know, president obama always talks about wanting to grow the economy from the middle class out, not from the top down. when you look at this jobs report, are there other weaknesses that you see? >> i just think that in general, the big weakness here is we still don't have enough jobs. 200,000's a great number but realistically, at this point in this recovery, we need to start worrying about is that going to be a high water mark as opposed to a step up to like 300,000, 400,000 a month which is what would really again, create the kind of pressure upward that we're just getting everybody a
raise, basically. >> jim tankersley, thank you so much. we appreciate it. you look very sharp. i appreciate the beard as well. >> you should try it. coming up on "the lead," he was in the oval office while nelson mandela sat in a prison cell. coming up next, we have former president jimmy carter who will share his memories of the south african leader with you and me. plus, you might think partisan politics couldn't taint the legacy of an international icon. you might think that. you would be wrong. how both sides are comparing mandela's fight against apartheid to things that help their political cause. [ male announcer ] here's a question for you:
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to help secure retirements and protect financial futures. to help communities recover and rebuild. for companies going from garage to global. on the ground, in the air, even into space. we repaid every dollar america lent us. and gave america back a profit. we're here to keep our promises. to help you realize a better tomorrow. from the families of aig, happy holidays. welcome back to "the lead." he showed the world the true meaning of resilience and during 27 years as a prisoner in his native south africa, emerging from that torment to become his country's first black president, leading his people out of the ugliness that was apartheid. we are today remembering the remarkable life of nelson mandela, who died yesterday at the age of 95.
mandela could count several u.s. presidents among his many admirers. every living former president joined president obama in expressing his sadness at mandela's passing and exalted his many accomplishments. jimmy carter considered mandela a personal friend. in 2007, carter joined a group of elder statesmen brought together by mandela to strive for solutions to the world's biggest problems. joining me now on the phone is former president jimmy carter. mr. president, thanks for joining us. what are you going to miss most about this great man? >> well, over a long period of years, i was a very close friend of nelson mandela. i knew him first the first time he ever left south africa. he visited other countries in africa and i happened to be there and meet he and his wife winnie. since then he helped us with many projects that the carter center carries on. about six years ago, nelson and others formed a group called the
elders, of which i'm still a member, and so is his wife, graca machel. i think the last public meeting he had was with the elder members of the elders so nelson has meant a lot to me. obviously when he was still in prison, he was an inspiration, a courageous and embattled person who didn't want to fight back and continue with violence. he's just a very close personal friend whom i've known for many events. used to come over here and go with me to give an annual human rights award. by the way, i remember that the first time i met nelson, the first thing he did was congratulate me on my daughter amy, who had been arrested three
times in college for demonstrating against apartheid in south africa. so we got off to a good start and we maintained our friendship right up until the end of his life. >> he was obviously a very controversial figure, considered a terrorist by the u.s. government in the past, labeled one because of waging armed resistance against the apartheid government. some called him a communist. he has praised people who are probably in many ways not deserving of praise such as fidel castro. how do you reconcile the things that are not so great from his past with the unbelievable icon and the man he became? >> well, i think the things for which he was abused didn't show that he was not great, because i think three years ago, as a matter of fact, he was still on the terrorist list by the united states and they only removed him two junes ago. so that doesn't prove there's anything wrong with him.
it's just a matter of the united states making a mistake, labeling him and all the members of the african congress as terrorists. the united states does the same thing with other people around the world still. but anyway, i don't know of anything that would be derogatory that you could say about nelson mandela, although he did some very controversial things. as you may know, i tried every way i could when i was president to get an end to apartheid. when president reagan came into office, he really undid the things that we did and tried to preserve the apartheid government. so the united states government policies have changed back and forth and other nations have looked upon nelson mandela and his organization in different capacities but i think what he's done has been right in wanting freedom and after he was finally released from 27 years of imprisonment, his attitude was one of forgiveness and reconciliation and building a better nation for his people. >> that's the thing about him
that i find the most fascinating, is his ability to forgive, having his jailers at his inauguration, insisting that the staff at the capitol did not change even though many of them had been part of an apartheid oppressive racist system. having known him, where did that strength come from? i think a lot of us are not willing to forgive people for far, far less. how was he able to do that? >> you know, i don't know -- i didn't know him before he went into prison, obviously. that was before my time in politics or government. but i presume that all the time he was in prison, his attitude then even was to resolve differences with the apartheid oppressors in a peaceful way, not by resorting to violence or revolution or armed resistance. so it may be that this was a part of his character from the very beginning, with which i'm not familiar, but there's no doubt that ever since he's been
in the public eye, he has been almost absolutely undeviating in his ability to forgive people who had hurt him personally and hurt his people that he loved, and that was a nelson mandela that i knew, all the many times i have been with him. so i'm very grateful for that. i remember once, by the way, when i went to visit nelson in his home, my grandson whose name is jason carter was in the peace corps in south africa, and jason heard that i was going to meet nelson mandela, so jason called me on the phone and he calls me papa, he said papa, let me go with you to meet nelson mandela because i always wanted to meet someone who went to prison before they were in public office. so because of that remark, i took jason to meet with me. at the time, i had about half an hour's worth of really important things i wanted to discuss with nelson mandela and since jayson spoke zulu fluently, that was nelson mandela's local language,
home language, they spent the whole half hour talking to each other in zulu and pretty well ignored me, the former president of the united states. so we've had some good times with nelson and also obviously recently, some sad times as he went into isolation and suffered so long. his wife, by the way, is one of our heroes. she is also a member of the elders and has been very active. she is a hero for women and women's rights around the world. she's now working on the next millenium goals for the united nations to be put into effect after 2015. >> former president jimmy carter, thank you so much for the generosity for your time, for talking to us today. >> i have enjoyed talking to you. thank you. president obama and the first lady will travel to south africa for nelson mandela's memorial next week. we have just confirmed that former president george w. bush and laura bush will make the trip with them on air force one. coming up on "the lead" a terrifying scene as passengers on this plane watch their drama on live tv from their seats.
what they're saying about the experience. plus, it's one of the biggest sporting events in the world. now the u.s. must survive the so-called group of death to win. i don't just make things for a living i take pride in them. so when my moderate to severe chronic plaque psoriasis was also on display, i'd had it. i filly had a serious talk with my dermatologist. this time, he prescribed humira-adalimumab. humira helps to clear the surface of my skin by actually working inside my body. in clinical trials, most adults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis saw 75% skin clearance. and the majority of people were clear or almost clear in just 4 months.
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welcome back to "the lead." in world news, typically the best part of a long flight is knowing that you're about to land. unless your landing looks like this. check out this heart-stopping video from the uk showing an emirates plane blowing sideways as it approaches the runway. the boeing 777 hit some rough weather on the end of its journey from dubai to birmingham, england. the pilot tried to land twice before giving up and landing 100 miles away in london. to make matters worse, passengers were able to watch the landing drama play out on in-flight monitors. after the flight, one passenger summed up his experience on twitter in three simple words. never flying again. it was a long shot that team usa would go the distance in next year's world cup and that was before we all knew who they would end up playing.
the world cup groupings were revealed today. as luck would have it, america's team was in the so-called group of death. that means the men's team will have to beat tough opponents like ghana, germany and portugal to advance. yes, portugal. the team that just so happens to have one of the best players in the world, christiano ronaldo. on the bright side, the u.s. will rack up about 5,000 frequent flyer miles to brazil for trips to the game. that's something. let's check in with our political panel in the green room. ana, people have been accidentally posting pictures of morgan freeman online instead of nelson mandela after the news of mandela's death. now freeman, it's true he played him in a 2009 movie but that's very disappointing. when you, when the untimely and horrific event happens of your passing, who would you like people to accidentally confuse you for and send out that photo? >> well, jake, if i lose weight in some places and gain it in
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once a day xarelto® means no regular blood monitoring -- no known dietary restrictions. for more information and savings options, call 1-888-xarelto or visit goxarelto.com. welcome back to "the lead." now it's time for the politics lead. it's the bathroom wall of the internet, the hovel of haters and trolls. i'm talking of course about the comments section of social media sites. right now as tributes and cko condolences from politicians roll out online, so are nasty replies. senator ted cruz is one of those in that situation right now. on the news of nelson mandela's death, he wrote of his respect and admiration for the anti-apartheid icon. nelson mandela will live in history as an inspiration for defenders of liberty around the globe. lovely sentiments. more than 5,000 people liked that comment but not all agree. he was a murderer and communist,
why are you inspired by this, ted. another, what about the rampant white genocide because of south african's freedom, question mark, question mark, you get the point. another writes stalin, hitler, pol pot, mao and fdr are also dead. they don't deserve a positive eulogy, either. let's bring in our panel. neera tanden, ana navarra and ryan lizza. we reach out to cruz's office. they point out you can find hateful stuff on the white house's website as well, one writing mandela was a well-mannered demon in the flesh. cruz's comments got more likes on his page than obama's got on that page. is this something we should even be paying attention to? or is this just the bathroom wall of the internet? >> frankly, we shouldn't be paying attention to it. let's hold ted cruz, let's hold people on facebook and twitter accountable for what they say, not for what followers say.
also, keep in mind they're not all friends. some may be enemies. look, you tweet, we all tweet. you can tweet the earth is round and get hateful trolls saying terrible things. so this is -- >> no, no, i'm not implying any way ted cruz is responsible at all for what people write on his facebook page. i think what's interesting about it, if anything, is the fact that these are conservatives upset with ted cruz and that doesn't happen. >> how do you know they're conservatives? maybe they are liberals pretending to be conservative. you don't know. on twitter and facebook? you don't know who that is. >> if they were liberals i think they would feel really badly about attacking nelson mandela for whatever purpose. >> there are some nasty liberals out there. >> i'm not saying there are no haters on either side. you know, i want to applaud ted cruz for what he said. there is a lot of bipartisan support. i think the larger issue versus
these trolls versus non-trolls is really that it's not like nelson mandela wasn't controversial. he did get a lot of conservatives attacking him over the years and the anti-apartheid movement had its conservative critics in the '70s, '80s and '90s but what is important now is he is embraced by both sides and despite the extremism on the right, i think we should celebrate the fact that there are so many conservatives who are applauding his fight against apartheid now. >> i wonder if one of the problems is that when we do these funerals and obituaries, we canonnize these people instead of acknowledging there were shameful moments in the anc's past and mandela said nice things about fidel castro and freedom in cuba that are false and that maybe because we bend over so backwards to show respect that that creates an opening. >> if there's anyone in modern
history -- >> you disagree. i do, too. i'm just saying. >> we all agree if there's anyone in modern or world history that deserves sort of to be put on a pedestal, it's nelson mandela. >> of course. >> a few historical figures, right. but i think on both sides there is this danger of sort of writing out of history some of the controversial parts of his life that made him a great leader, made him able to end apartheid in that country. he took some very strong idealogical stands that are controversial to this day. conservatives were on the wrong side of history on a lot of these issues in the '70s and '80s. ted cruz doesn't have to worry about that. he's in his early 40s. he doesn't have to pay attention to that. >> what's extraordinary about mandela is his life's evolution. he started off as a militant, then was a political prisoner, then he became the national leader that shepherded his country through reconciliation. and he only served one term.
>> let me just -- >> these things are connected. it's not like he ended his militancy. he always fought hard for freedom. >> he was a pacificist by the time he left prison. it was extraordinary, that somebody treated that way had no -- >> i want to bring in -- >> go ahead, jake. thinks your show. >> i appreciate it. there have been a couple interesting moments of punditry in the last 24 hours. here's msnbc's chris matthews talking about how the last apartheid president, f.w. de klerk, worked with mandela after his release from prison. >> for him to recognize his role in history which was to be a patriot at that point is so different than the way mitch mcconnell handled the election of obama. >> here is former pennsylvania senator rick santorum comparing the fight against apartheid in south africa to the battle over obama care. >> he was fighting against some great injustice. i would make the argument we have a great injustice going on right now in this country with
an ever-increasing size of government that has taken over and is controlling people's lives and obama care is front and center in that. >> ryan, what gives? >> i think we have to add apartheid -- >> f.w. de klerk, such a better person than mitch mcconnell. >> we have to add apartheid to that list of issues you shouldn't compare in modern american politics -- >> right. naziism, slavery, apartheid. >> there are issues that were unique historically and no matter how bad you think things are in american politics right now, comparisons are never going to be apt. >> nelson mandela supported universal health care. i think the comparison, like the pope, i think the comparison is kind of -- >> i would tell you this. i think neither side should be using the man, a dead man, deceased man we are honoring to make cheap political shots. >> amen to that. ana, ryan, neera, you guys continue in the green room. next on "the lead," nelson mandela is being remembered as an icon but at one time he was a
polarizing figure. next, jesse jackson shares his memory of the man who was once on the u.s. terror watch list. plus an arrest related to the car crash that killed actor paul walker. why an 18-year-old was taken into custody. [ female announcer ] thanks for financing my first car. thanks for giving me your smile. thanks for inspiring me. thanks for showing me my potential. for teaching me not to take life so seriously. thanks for loving me and being my best friend. don't forget to thank those who helped you take charge of your future and got you where you are today. the boss of your life. the chief life officer. ♪
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welcome back to "the lead." i'm jake tapper. in world news, mandela is being mourned as a hero, not just of south africa but of the world, of the 20th century. amid all the global tributes and outpouring of heartfelt condolences it's easy to forget that at one time, nelson mandela was a deeply divisive figure called a terrorist and communist by some. one man who supported him through the storm of controversy was the reverend jesse jackson who was in south africa the day mandela walked out of prison a free man after more than 27 years of confinement. reverend jackson joins me now. reverend jackson, thank you so much. you will be leading a prayer vigil tonight in chicago for mandela but before you tell me about that, tell me what it was like to look into mandela's face the day he got out.
>> there had been such a great buildup, such anticipation. we were very akin to the south african apartheid struggle because apartheid in the south of our own country. we coordinated our activities and we knew that his persecution was redemptive. he walked in that room and jake, he recognized me which really threw me off because he had seen the '84 and '88 campaigns, very much aware of what we were doing in the country. you could feel his presence and his being so present. you would think being out of the mix for 27 years he would be detached. he hit the ground running. >> in the 1980s, as i don't need to remind you but many viewers may not be old enough to remember, president reagan designated the african national congress a terrorist group and vetoed a bill by congress to push for mandela's release.
congress later overrode the veto. what do you remember about that very divisive time, the '80s when apartheid was such a heated debate all over the country but especially on college campuses? >> well, the u.s. chose de klerk and botha and the apartheid regime as our ally. i can hear kissinger saying now iran and the shah and botha and de klerk [ inaudible ]. and therefore, the apartheid is an internal problem. it had no moral standing in the world so people began to rebel against it. but clearly, president reagan and u.s. policy was pro-white south africa and really, mr. mandela was on the terrorist list until july 1st, 2008, taken off by president george bush. until 2008 he was still on the terrorist list. >> he said some things that were
very controversial. in 2002, mandela said as the debate about the war in iraq was beginning but before the war had launched, he said quote, if there's a country that has committed unspeakable atrocities in the world it is the united states of america. they don't care for human beings. now, obviously, there are lots of areas of american foreign policy that are ripe for criticism but to say the united states does not care about human beings does not seem to be a fair statement. how do you reconcile things like that that he said with the magnificence of his accomplishments and his forgiveness and everything great that he did? >> you know, we should be very humble in our approach about this, jake. 246 years legal slavery, 100 years of legal jim crow in our country, apartheid laws in this country gave rise to apartheid laws in south africa in 1948.
even to now, apartheid is no longer a racial matter and social issues but economic, health care, educational, job apartheid is present even today, and he was simply saying that going into iraq was a preemptive strike, broke international law. as a matter of fact, the biggest demonstration in the history of the world took place that day, people saying do not invade iraq. now we admit that 100,000 plus iraqis have been killed, 6,000 plus americans have been killed, 50,000 plus injured, we were wrong. had the wrong target. he was saying we were wrong. president barack obama said we were wrong. the fact is we were wrong. >> what did mandela think about the united states? >> had high hopes for america and had high regard for america. one of the first places he came when he was freed was america, because the fact is demonstrations here, since led by randall robertson and eleanor holmes norton and maxine waters,
for a year we demonstrated every day, going to jail to protest. the u.s. congress declared sanctions on south africa and apartheid. i met with mrs. thatcher, britain would not go that far. so he knew the big lever to change the course was america. he came and expressed an appreciation in tours over and over again. he had high regard and high hopes for america. >> young people both here and in south africa, sadly, will know of mandela only from history books. what is it your wish that they be told about him? >> well, he was a persecuted political prisoner, he was tough, he tried nonviolent demonstration. that met with massacres. he tried the legal route. that was met with resistance. he finally became the commander of the uk, the military arm of south african, the anc troops. he was a freedom fighter fighting to end a system that lost all credibility in the world.
but also having come through the scars of exile, the scars of 27 years of jail, through all of that, he said we must get up from here and don't linger here, that we must choose at this point reconciliation over retaliation and revenge. that's a critical turning point. he could have come out demanding revenge and there would have been a bloody mess in south africa. today, south africa has the fastest growing economy in all of africa because he chose reconciliation over retaliation and revenge. >> reverend jesse jackson, thank you so much. good luck with your vigil this evening. i'm sure it will be very moving. >> thank you, sir. coming up in the next hour, bill clinton is in "the situation room" with wolf blitzer to talk about the legacy of nelson mandela. when we come back, the hollywood version of nelson mandela. some of the 20 or so actors who have portrayed him share their stories, next. clients are always learning more
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welcome back to "the lead." the pop culture lead now. his story was so powerful and moving, no wonder it took a roster of academy award winners to portray his life. hollywood has been captivated by nelson mandela. for the actors who brought his story to the big and small screen, there is a shared sense of pride to have honored his legacy and an overwhelming grief that he is no longer with us. to be honest, mandela's shoes were tough to fill even as mere props. rebel. prisoner. icon. president. reformer. there are many roles to play for an actor assigned to the legendary part of nelson mandela. at least 20 men have attempted to embody the icon, despite the challenge of replicating his world altering scenes. as the red carpets rolled out for last night's london premiere
of "mandela, long walk to freedom" the final act of the leader's life played out offscreen. >> the founding president of our democratic nation has departed. >> mandela's two youngest daughters were at the premiere when they got the bad news. >> we want equal political rights. >> idriss elba will be the final leader to play the icon in his lifetime. but the opinion of his family looms large. >> they didn't want to see this sort of silver-haired fist pumping caricature of mr. mandela but wanted to see the man. the man behind the legend. >> the producer began asking the future south african president for the film rights to his story before mandela had even achieved some of his most iconic plot points. >> i was writing to him while he was in prison. >> the famous inmate doubted his appeal. >> i have letters in his handwriting, you know, modestly saying well, will people actually want to see a film
about my life story. >> audiences must now ask not if there's a mandela film, but which they prefer to watch. >> you have a divine spark. >> morgan freeman has played the president in "olympus has fallen" but says taking on mandela for "invictus" was the hardest. >> the president is just a guy. mandela is not just a guy. >> the part of mandela is not one that just any guy can play. among the challenges, mandela's unique cadence. >> the biggest challenge of course i had was getting the voice. because he has a very distinctive sound. >> and of course, what the former president said in that voice is what makes the delivery of his lines so important. >> you elected me your leader. this is the choice. either we submit or we fight. >> in 1987, danny glover stepped into the part for the tv movie
"mandela." a decade later, sidney poitier brought the story to the small screen. but it was director spike lee who got the best casting of all. in a brief scene at the end of 1992's "malcolm x" a teacher speaks to his class, inspiring them. >> we declare our right on this earth -- >> that man really was a teacher. on every stage he played. >> mandela movie, the new one, has already set records in its first week. it became the highest grossing film of all time in south africa. no surprise. police didn't exactly need batman's help to crack the case involving stolen wreckage from paul walker's deadly crash. one suspect apparently posted a picture of the car part on instagram. the actor died saturday when the porsche he was riding in crashed into a light pole. the driver was also killed. an 18-year-old man is now in custody and could face felony
charges for taking the car's roof panel. classy. police say an instagram post with the suspect's name says piece of paul walker's car, took it off a tow truck at a stop light followed by the hash tag come up. a second suspect is also expected to turn himself in. thanks to nbc's live broadcast of "the sound of music" the hills are alive with the sound of ratings. more than 18 million people tuned in to last night's show starring carrie underwood. if you don't count sporting events that makes it the biggest thursday night for nbc since 1989. the ratings are the good news. the bad reviews, not so much. critics widely panned the production and some say underwood was miscast as maria. that includes a member of the real von trapp family the musical is based on miles von trapp said his family wanted anne hathaway in the lead role. a correction now. on wednesday during a discussion on our roundtable about vice president biden i tried to make
the point that despite his substantive work, the media perhaps too often focuses on his gaffes. in doing so, i did him and you the exact same ill service by not providing the proper context for a quick sound bite we aired. the vice president had been attending an event in japan aimed at highlighting efforts to reduce the percentage of japanese women currently at 60%, who quit their jobs after the birth of their first child. an important context for you to have known before we showed you the vice president asking some female workers there how their husbands like them working full-time. again, we were trying to make the point the v.p. deserved a more fair shake but i ironically, perhaps hypocritically, did the same thing. i regret the error and apologize to the vice president and to you, the viewer. make sure to follow me on twitter and also at thelead cnn. that's it for "the lead." i'm jake tapper. catch me in two hours filling in for erin burnett on "outfront," 7:00 p.m. eastern. i turn you over to wolf blitzer right next door, right this very minute, in "the situation room." mr. blitzer.
happening now, south africa and the world prepare for the funeral of nelson mandela. we're there live with new information. plus, clinton honors mandela. the former president shares very personal stories about his friend and his hero. he says the south african leader's advice helped him get through one of his darkest hours. stand by for my one-on-one interview. plus, breaking news. a snow and ice emergency. a deadly winter storm is causing havoc on the roads and in the skies across america. we're tracking the danger as the deep freeze moves east and a new storm develops out west. and a big jump in jobs. does president obama deserve credit for improving the u.s. economy after a surprisingly strong employment report? i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." a ten-day mourning period is under way for one of the most influential leaders of our me